From the 'nose shaper' to the 'five-day underarm pad' – we look at some of the weirdest, and funniest, vintage beauty tips...


‘You have a beautiful face… But your nose?


Need a nose-shaper?

Early 20th-century Face Specialist M Trilety was convinced that his ‘nose shaper’ was a surgery-free, pleasant solution to ‘ill-shaped noses’. To encourage people to write off for the information booklet, Trilety warns would-be punters that, ‘The world will judge you greatly, if not wholly, by your looks’. Resembling a harness for the nose, the device was meant to be worn overnight.

The roaring twenties

Twenties gals benefited from the advice of beauty experts, who were on hand to help them make the most of their looks. Top tips from Gloria Goddard’s 1926 Simple Beauty Hints include:

– Don’t let the chin bury itself in the neck. Keep it high.

– Don’t use every new cosmetic you see advertised or hear recommended. Let other girls have a chance to ruin their skin.

– Don’t wriggle the feet or fingers. Find other less hideous outlets for your nervous energy.

Recreate the 20s look with deep shades of eye shadow swept across the whole eyelid, and dark shades of lippy – with pouty bow lips – and plucked, arched eyebrows. And gone were the days of ladies pinching their cheeks to achieve a comely flush – rouge was no longer the preserve of harlots and actresses, and was quite in fashion.

‘Dust, oil and sweat’



Proper care of the hair, ’50s style:

“Wash your hair frequently to keep dust, oil and sweat accumulation to a minimum – once every two weeks with water and a mild soap. Rinse, then add lemon juice or vinegar to the next rinse. The final rinse should always be in fresh water.

If your hair squeaks after the final rinsing, you may be sure it’s clean.”

Bizarre beauty tips

– Forget roll on, invisible deodorant – in the 1940s, ‘the 5-day underarm pad’ promised to keep your pits, “as dry as desert wind, odorless and sweet.”

– Suffering from excessive jowls or a long nose? Turn to 1967 Revlon beauty expert Stan Lawrence: ‘A wonderful way to contour your face in summer to play up your bone structure or diminish an overly long nose or a jowled look, is to apply a frosted blusher, which contrasts brightly with a tanned skin.’

– Need a more powerful blow dry? Look to this early model from 1920s for the answer to your troubles: a giant six-legged hairdryer that’s almost as big as you. Sorted!

– Eyeliner made from goose fat or petroleum jelly mixed with soot or coal was a popular homemade beauty product in the early 20th century.


What do you think of these weird vintage beauty tips? Would you give them a go? Let us know in the comments…